Warwick retirement village residents take part in Land’s End to John O’Groats walking challenge

The group of over-65s completed their miles by walking in and around the grounds at Austin Heath, which is owned and operated by later living provider Inspired Villages

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:52 am
Janet Lewis walking. Photo supplied

Residents at a retirement village in Warwick challenged themselves to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats – the length of the UK .

25 residents from the Austin Heath retirement village collectively walked 1,083 miles to help them stay active during the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

The group of over-65s completed their miles by walking in and around the grounds at Austin Heath, which is owned and operated by later living provider Inspired Villages.

Austin Heath retirement village in Warwick. Photo supplied

The idea for the challenge came from Inspired Village’s 'wellness navigators', Leah Jackson and Adam Harris, who wanted to help improve the residents’ physical and mental well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the residents taking part were John Lewis, 68 and wife Janet, 66. John said: “Residents and staff have rose to the challenge of walking from John O'Groats to Land's End (or, at least, the equivalent number of miles.).

"Some averaged several miles a day, others less than a mile, depending on ability and time available.

“Walks starting from the village can include chocolate-box views of Warwick Castle, the river Avon and the beautiful parks of Royal Leamington Spa.

"Not exactly the Highlands of Scotland or the Cornwall coast but more easily walked.”

Adam Harris, wellness navigator at Austin Heath, said the residents were always keen to take on a challenge – and this time was no different.

He said: “The challenge has been brilliant for bringing the village together and keeping residents healthy and happy.

"A daily walk is an excellent and fun way to exercise and also contributes to healthy mental well-being during lockdown.

“Residents and staff completed the task in only a few weeks and weren’t put off by the unpredictable winter weather so some socially distanced celebrations will most definitely be on the cards.

"Well done, everyone.”

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, said: “Congratulations to the Austin Heath residents for an incredible effort. It just goes to show that retirement is no longer simply about putting your feet up and taking it easy.

"Nowadays, later life is about having the time and freedom to try new things and embrace opportunities.”

For more information on Austin Heath, go to: https://www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/village/austin-heath